Keep Your (User) Stories Straight with Pivotal Tracker
Benjamin Plotkin profile photo
October 07, 2019

Keep Your (User) Stories Straight with Pivotal Tracker

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Pivotal Tracker

We use Pivotal Tracker to manage the maintenance and extension of many different web-based applications. Other departments in our organization use JIRA for software development project management, while still others (who focus on break/fix and help desk support) use ticket-based systems. Pivotal Tracker is a good fit for our department because we are an agile shop, and the application is intrinsically designed to support agile methodologies.
  • Pivotal Tracker makes it relatively easy to manage project team members, including inviting new members, as well as managing existing member roles.
  • I appreciate how Pivotal Tracker supports the planning and estimation aspects of agile project management, including support for linear and Fibonacci sequence point systems for effort estimation on tasks.
  • Analytics are just a click away with Pivotal Tracker, making burndown chart spreadsheets and manual tallying a thing of the past.
  • While Pivotal Tracker takes a lot of the drudgery out of managing agile-type projects, it can be an "opinionated" product, which can make end-users feel like they have to conform their workflows to the product, rather than the other way around. Automated velocity reporting is one example of this.
  • Pivotal Tracker has a lot of features, and while this is generally a good thing, it makes the product a challenge to master, for many, regardless of end-user technical abilities.
  • The visual interface is extremely information-rich, requiring lots of drill-downs and accordion expansions. It would be nice to see a simplified interface for general use, akin to the old-school Scrum board and Post-It notes.
  • Our software development team and customers are not colocated, so Pivotal Tracker saves us time and money by supporting web-based access to our projects, allowing devs and end-users to collaborate remotely, and asynchronously as required.
  • Pivotal Tracker's "all in one place" accessibility helps us to avoid rework by centralizing our tasks, bugs, and user stories.
  • Being a cloud-based product, Pivotal Tracker gives our organization the ability to run a sophisticated project management system without having to pay for the infrastructure or staff that a home-grown system would require.
JIRA allows teams to tailor the application workflow to meet their needs, while "opinionated" Pivotal Tracker enforces a consistent workflow approach on all team members. While I, personally, may prefer to have a system configured to my particular habits and desires as a technical project manager, our department experiences a regular turnover in both development staff and product customers (as is expected in a higher education software shop that relies on student assistant developers). Therefore, Pivotal Tracker's "one true way" is the better option to ensure consistency and quality across our various projects.
I haven't had pressing need to lean on Pivotal Tracker's support system, but have had the need from time to time to better understand a deep feature or configuration element. In those cases, I have been well-served by the vendor's extensive online documentation, which is written in a straightforward and accessible style.

Do you think Pivotal Tracker delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Pivotal Tracker's feature set?

Yes

Did Pivotal Tracker live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Pivotal Tracker go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Pivotal Tracker again?

Yes

Pivotal tracker is a great fit for organizations managing multiple projects as it's straightforward to manage various team members and roles across multiple projects. Setting aside the application's opinionated nature, it's got comprehensive support for agile methodologies baked in, making it a compelling choice for Scrums and other agile approaches.

Pivotal Tracker is probably overkill for colocated single project team environments, as an actual Scrum room with a dedicated physical tasks board may be more cost-effective, and is certainly easier to explain to newcomers.